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Couple of questions about RAID when using new/older HDD.

Last response: in Storage
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October 19, 2011 2:39:14 PM

Hello,
I recently built a modest gameing rig, my first build (yay), but I kept a couple components from my old computer that had mobo fail. Dell E521. One of which is the HDD. It is a 225GB WD 7200rpm. not sure about its cache or speed gbps. but it is one of the bottleneck in my system that I am trying to eliminate. I reformatted it and installed 64 bit win 7HP. I have a few questions about what would be the best route to go when upgrading it. first the systems spec.


Central Processor
CPU Name AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 955BE Processor
Code Name Model 4, Stepping 3
Manufactory AuthenticAMD
Current Clock Speed 3200 Mhz <-----This is wrong, its auto tuned to 3472 Mhz
Max Clock Speed 3200 Mhz <----- This is worng, I auto tuned it to 3.8 something with the mobo autotuning utility....
Voltage 1.5V
External Clock 200 Mhz

CPU ID AMD64 Family 16 Model 4 Stepping 3
Socket Designation AM3
L1-Cache 512 KB
L2-Cache 2048 KB
L3-Cache 6144 KB
Motherboard
Model M4A88T-V EVO/USB3
Manufactory ASUSTeK Computer INC.
Serial Number MT7014017400087
BIOS Name BIOS Date: 12/15/10 10:09:12 Ver: 03.07
BIOS Vendor American Megatrends Inc.
SMBIOS Version 0307
BIOS Date 12/15/2010
BIOS Features
ISA is supported Yes
PCI is supported Yes
Plug and Play is supported Yes
APM is supported Yes
BIOS is Upgradable (Flash) Yes
BIOS shadowing is allowed Yes
ESCD support is available Yes
Boot from CD is supported Yes
Selectable Boot is supported Yes
BIOS ROM is socketed Yes
EDD (Enhanced Disk Drive) Specification is supported Yes
Int 13h - 5.25 /1.2MB Floppy Services are supported Yes
Int 13h - 3.5 / 720 KB Floppy Services are supported Yes
Int 13h - 3.5 / 2.88 MB Floppy Services are supported Yes
Int 5h, Print Screen Service is supported Yes
Int 9h, 8042 Keyboard services are supported Yes
Int 14h, Serial Services are supported Yes
Int 17h, printer services are supported Yes
Int 10h, CGA/Mono Video Services are supported Yes
ACPI supported Yes
USB Legacy is supported Yes
LS-120 boot is supported Yes
ATAPI ZIP Drive boot is supported Yes

Top Memory Device
Memory Resource
Total Memory 6.00 GB
Used Memory 1.72 GB
Free Memory 4.28 GB
Memory Usage 28%

Top Drives
Disk Drives
Name WDC WD2500JS-75NCB3 ATA Device
Media Type Fixed hard disk media
Capability 232.83 GB
Interface Type IDE
Partitions 1
Total Cylinders 30394
Total Heads 255
Total Sectors 488279610
Total Tracks 7750470
Tracks Per Cylinder 255
Bytes Per Sector 512
Sectors Per Track 63
S.M.A.R.T Support Yes
Current Temperature

MY 1st question, What would be the best or very good HDD upgrade for the money for this system? I dont think I have a need for huge drive so if I can get faster/less storage I want that option. Maximum speed without breaking the bank.
2. Can I use my old HDD with a newer faster one in RAID? Would it make my system faster than just using the newer drive only? and how should I configure it if this is a good option? Like which one to put the OS on etc....?

Not very knowledgible about these things but I'm trying tot learn. Thanks for suggestions. :) 

Best solution

a c 372 G Storage
October 19, 2011 3:06:36 PM

For a new drive, I'd go with a WD black series or a samsung F3 drive.

As for the raid, you can't change the specs of thte old drive. Adding it to a RAID won't increase the individual performance of that drive. Putting it in RAID with a newer drive will hinder the performance of the array. It's only as strong as it's weakest link.
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October 19, 2011 3:20:39 PM

Great answer sir! Precisely what I wanted to know thank you. Use single drive for now. If I wanted to do RAID I would need identical HDD then.
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a c 372 G Storage
October 19, 2011 5:37:07 PM

Yes, it is highly recommended to use identical drives in an array.
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October 19, 2011 5:56:45 PM

You don't need identical drives in a raid and mixing drives doesn't hurt a RAID setup (it will operate fine), but the higher capacity or faster speed of the better drives goes to waste as the RAID will work at the lowest common level.

Also, if you do decide to RAID make sure you weigh the benefits and risks. RAID 0 (striping) theoretically gives you a performance boost, but also increases your risk of failure. The more disks in a RAID 0 array the more likely it is to fail.

If you are looking for speed, I'd recommend a 60-120GB SSD and put your OS & programs on there. Less risk of disk failure and significantly faster than a RAID setup. It might be a bit more expensive, but you can re-use your old HDD and store all your data files on there.
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October 20, 2011 4:41:46 AM

yeah i thought about SSD and jsut using the old drive for storage. might do that but Also seriously considering a new mechanical drive. I'll look more into ssd more before doing anything. thnx
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October 20, 2011 4:41:58 AM

Best answer selected by crypta.
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